Tuesday, February 25, 2014

If a picture tells a thousand words, then the word count on this one is huge!

The book files are now at the printers, getting magically turned from digital files to a shiny new book. So what's happening during this waiting time...?

Well I've been phoned up and offered a table at a Christmas fair - so I now have my first event booked for Christmas 2014!

I've managed to finish a book I was reading, and buy another in the series... plus another that just took my fancy... so I suppose you could say I've been book shopping.

...and next I need to do all the paper work involved in the actual publishing of a book - namely register the ISBN of the new book, so that it will be out there for all to see...

And what about the publicity?

The experts say that a book should be advertised long in advance of it coming out, but what can be more annoying than hearing about a book long before you can get your hands on it; and at that point I didn't know some of the crucial details - such as how many pictures it was going to have, final word count and number of pages...  In the end there are a lot of colour photos - so if photos of kittens is your thing you're going to love this one, and if a picture tells a thousand words, then the word count is huge!!

Friday, February 21, 2014

New book finished and sales to report...

I may be a week later than everyone else, but I've got that just broken up feeling. And why am I feeling this way...? Well I've finally finished my latest book, and zapped it off to the printers! It's a great feeling to finally finish a project - next I'll get to see my proof copy in all its glory - now that will put a big smile on my face... :)

Meanwhile, other good news this week included another sale of A Face Full of Snow on kindle - well it is ski season, and with the winter Olympics ongoing, it's a very topical book to read. I think  the athletes all have better trained skis than Eric (or me for that matter...)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Overcoming everything to write a book...

It seems that everything possible has got in my way, to stop me ever finishing this book, even, or perhaps especially the characters themselves. But in truth, when the technical side of editing, formatting and publishing gets on top of me, it's the characters - namely my cats who keep me sane - who could resist a cat meowing at the door to go out and play... 

And so I'm finally done - although at the last hurdle I've had my email hacked and am now locked out of my account - but did I let it sabotage my day...? No, I've pushed on and done the finishing touches, and if email still lets me down tomorrow I'll deliver the files on a disk to the printers...

Nobody ever said that writing a book was easy...

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I think I've compressed my brain into a zip file...

After an afternoon of trying to make my book cover - both in Word - with interesting results, and then in photoshop, where I got totally stuck and had to resort to online tutorials... I feel as if my brain has been compressed into a zip file.

I did have a brief breakthrough when I decided I had to feed my brain to make it work better, and I must admit that the fudge did seem to help.... I do now have the beginnings of a book cover in photoshop, in layers and everything!!

So next I'll be sloshing around in pixels, getting some colour onto the job, and when I have something I'm happy with, I'll post it on my blog and website and see what reaction I get - it's nearly time to put on my promotion hat and start revealing what I've been working on...

Friday, February 07, 2014

The Winter Olympics

Like many others I'm looking forward to watching the winter Olympics. I love to watch the skiing and snowboarding and marvel at the speed and skill, and the fact that their skis seem to be under control and not trying to make a break for freedom every time the carry them on their shoulders.

But like many other calamities, my early ski attempts did inspire a book - A Face Full of Snow will strike a cord with skiers everywhere whether they're taking to the slopes for the first time, or remember when they did... 

As Eric crashes his way down the ski slope, totally out of control, his only consolation is that Iver No-Idea isn't there to see.

Iver No-Idea and his dog HB are doodles. But they are no ordinary doodles – they're alive, and words and pictures come alive around them. Iver No-Idea has been learning to ski in a ski brochure. He's been practising for weeks and now he thinks he's an expert, and can't wait to tell Eric how it's done.

But when Iver No-Idea and HB are left behind, they find a way to gatecrash Eric's holiday. They arrive at just the wrong time, causing their own unique brand of trouble.

50 page paperback

Black and white line drawings

ISBN 978-0-9560232-3-0

Buy now form my online shop.
Also available on kindle

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Limited editions and gingerbread moose...

I now have my print quote, and number mashing has given me a headache - I think my brain runs better on words than numbers, a bit like putting the wrong fuel in you car...

As a self publisher I need to decide how many books to have printed, the bigger the print run the cheaper per book they are to print, but the figures soon add up, and this one was never going to be a cheap book to produce with all the colour photos that I just couldn't leave out. So I'm thinking I might do a limited edition on this one, and then future editions will have fewer photos... we'll see.

Meanwhile, I got distracted as I tend to do and baked some gingerbread moose...

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

You know you've been overdoing the picture editing when...

You know you've been overdoing the picture editing when ... you see a cloudy sky and visualise yourself deleting the clouds to give a clear background...

Editing pictures becomes quite absorbing after a while, removing all those pixels to clear the background - in this case is was the backdrop of a radiator behind a cat basket that had to go, I'd better not remove the actual radiator or the cats will soon be abandoning the basket for one in a warmer location.

Anyway - my cover is nearly finished, I still have to arrange the back cover a bit more to fit the blurb around the picture, and still leave room for the bar code and price. I'm waiting for a print quote from the printers, and then I can set the price accordingly. And then...  I'll be announcing the new book!!

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

How to beat writer's block

Every time I try to write something positive and useful about writers block, it seems to waken up and come at me like a demon who hadn't noticed that I was happily writing away, until I called its name and drew its attention my way...

So maybe today will be different and I'll manage to write some useful tips down before it notices... so here goes:

How to avoid writers block:

  • Try not to think about writers block - just get on with it.
  • Think about what you're going to write before you sit down at a blank screen or piece of paper.
  • Allow yourself time to daydream - it's actually very productive and lets your imagination wander about and come up with things you didn't even know you had in your head.
  • Don't be too worried about the first sentence, you can always go back and change it later, in fact you probably will, but at least you will have made a start.
  • Let your imagination run wild without a care for what anyone else might think of what you've written - right now you're the only one who can see it, and you might just surprise yourself with what an unrestricted imagination in an come up with...
  • If writer's block does strike, go and do something else: go for a walk, or a swim - I often come up with ideas in a swimming pool: or just sit in the sun and let your mind wander - you'll free your mind and sneak up on new ideas.
  • Write something else - it's more productive than sitting staring at a blank screen, and come back to it later.
  • Read something.
  • Try writing with music playing. Music is a powerful thing and can change your mood in an instant.
  • Visualise writer's block as a monster that you will either ignore or beat - but you will not allow it to beat you! 
Please leave a comment or add your own tips...

Monday, February 03, 2014

On the beach

Last night, well about tea time - but it was dark, so it seemed like night, I was on the beach. It was a tiny beach, about 3ft by 1ft and what there was of it was wet and in danger of being flooded by the next big wave - where was I?

I was on Scarborough beach at high tide - a very high tide!! And I wasn't the only one feeling to pull of a walk on the beach -  a Border Collie came along just after me, running ahead of it's people to get down the nearest steps onto the beach, only to stop and look confused as the sea lapped up almost covering the beach.

And so that was my first step on the beach of the year - I can't quite call it a walk on the beach, because all I did was to step onto it, and keep a watchful eye on the waves, and shame as it was not to swim in the sea when it had come all the way up the beach to meet - the North Sea in February is just a bit too chilly for me...